What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

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htdrag11
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What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by htdrag11 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:52 pm

I leased a 2018 Outback Limited in October 2017 for 36 months. This is my 1st Subaru and aware some of the pros and cons but never gave too much thought on infotainment. My 2014 Mazda 3 and a previously owned 2012 Lexus RX350 have little issues once Bluetooth (BT) is connected, so I'm dismayed that I have to take the car in for the 2nd time since December and now March to have my speakers/system reset (cannot do it at home). Both times, there is no audio while I could see clearly that music was being streamed. When there was no sound, that applied to radio, Sirius and CD/MP3.

Now I'm waiting for the new amp as suggested by the service department, but suspect that it would not resolved the issue based on searching on the net about Android Auto (a new feature in the 2018 Outback which prompted me to cancel the 2017 version) problems.

I've a Nexus 6P. Had to unintstall my Android Auto for the streaming to work during the interim (afraid that I would lose the speakers again while waiting for the amp). I use both Spotify and Google Play Music for streaming. Waze for navigation (the built in TomTom is a sad joke). So far, streaming using BT is working fine, just like my Mazda 3. It is possible that the Harman Kardon unit, Android OS, Android Auto do not play well together, especially after software updates. My background is in IT, so I'm aware of software bugs with so many moving parts. I do not envy Subaru's problems but consumers should not bear the brunt.

So, what constitutes a lemon and do I have any recourse if this new amp would fail again? TIA.

KT785
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by KT785 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:57 pm

As a fellow Subaru Outback owner (2017), I'd recommend you search the forums at SubaruOutback.org if you've not already done so. You may come across others with the same issue and see if they've been able to find a resolution.

I'm quite happy with my 2017, but had been a bit envious of the updated head-unit on the 2018 . . . perhaps my envy is misplaced. :happy

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htdrag11
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by htdrag11 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:45 pm

Yes. There are 6 separate threads on the 2018 Infotainment issues of various kinds. 2017 does not have Android Auto. One thread is called Head Unit Freezes.

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Watty
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by Watty » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:04 pm

You can Google your state name and Lemon Law to find out what the rules are in your state. You should have also gotten that information in the paperwork where you bought the car.

Each brand will have a specific escalation procedure that you should look up and follow and be sure to document it.

It was a long time ago but I had to do this with a Nissan I once had that had multiple problems. As I recall it basically involved talking to the Service manager, General manager then the Nissan Corporate regional service manager. The regional service manager was actually real easy to deal with and he quickly agreed give me an extended warranty and that I would call him directly if I had any more problems with the car. (This was before the state I was in had lemon laws which allowed you to return the car.)

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htdrag11
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by htdrag11 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:56 pm

For NJ, here is what it says:

"The certified letter may be sent only after you have had at least two repair attempts for the same defect, or
20 cumulative days out of service for one or more defects, and the defect still exists. In the case of a “serious
safety defect,” the letter can be sent after a single repair attempt and the defect still exists..."

Is it a serious defect?

"To qualify for relief under the Lemon Law, the defect must substantially impair the use, value or safety of your vehicle, or be a “serious safety defect” which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the
vehicle is driven."


Audio issue is probably not. At best they would need to replace the head unit if the amp replacement did not resolve the problem. It's going to be a nuisance and a pain. Can't imagine driving in the 21st century without any kind of news or music.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by noco-hawkeye » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:01 pm

You could just replace the head unit with an aftermarket one, yes? I know thats not ideal, but you can get Android Auto / Car Play for maybe 500$?

Katietsu
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by Katietsu » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:31 pm

I understand you are spending a lot of money on a new car and this is frustrating. But, please do not use car, lemon, and radio in the same sentence if you want to be taken seriously. Lemon laws were put into effect because people would be without a car at all while their new car in the shop for weeks without a fix for the problem. Or people would repeatedly have their car stall in busy traffic and the mechanics couldn't figure out what was wrong. Honestly, car manufacturing must be substantially improved because it has been probably 20 years since I have personally heard a "lemon" situation.

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htdrag11
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by htdrag11 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:31 pm
I understand you are spending a lot of money on a new car and this is frustrating. But, please do not use car, lemon, and radio in the same sentence if you want to be taken seriously. Lemon laws were put into effect because people would be without a car at all while their new car in the shop for weeks without a fix for the problem. Or people would repeatedly have their car stall in busy traffic and the mechanics couldn't figure out what was wrong. Honestly, car manufacturing must be substantially improved because it has been probably 20 years since I have personally heard a "lemon" situation.
You're right that cars are much more reliable but electronics and especially Internet of Things are very scary for car makers since they are behind. I do not envy car mechanics either. I certainly could drive the car, but not for longer than 30 minutes in total silence. Paying extra for Spotify Premium and the 8" Infotainment with Harman Kardon sound are kind of a waste now.

onourway
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by onourway » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:11 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:31 pm
I understand you are spending a lot of money on a new car and this is frustrating. But, please do not use car, lemon, and radio in the same sentence if you want to be taken seriously. Lemon laws were put into effect because people would be without a car at all while their new car in the shop for weeks without a fix for the problem. Or people would repeatedly have their car stall in busy traffic and the mechanics couldn't figure out what was wrong. Honestly, car manufacturing must be substantially improved because it has been probably 20 years since I have personally heard a "lemon" situation.
The radio is part of the vehicle that was paid for. If it does not work properly it's a distraction to the driver. If the manufacturer cannot fix the issue, he has every right to insist that they take it back. Whether the issue is with the engine, the radio, a switch that doesn't work, whatever, it doesn't make any difference. The owner still has to take time out of their life to return the vehicle to the dealer repeatedly.

The fact that you haven't personally heard of a lemon situation in 20 years is particular to your own world-view. Buybacks remain extremely common, possibly more so than ever because manufacturers most certainly will buy back a vehicle because of faulty electronics.

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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by tcassette » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:27 am

The 2018 Outback infotainment issues are frustrating. I bought my Outback last September and have documented my issues on subaruoutback.org along with many others. I have not tried to use Android Auto or Apple Carplay, so I don't know if my unit has those problems. However, from what I have read, other makes and models besides the Outback have problems with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Be sure to have your dealer apply the latest software update (unfortunately, it cannot be updated from your home network). The update may or may not resolve issues, which is frustrating in itself because different owners have had different problems with the same model unit! Supposedly, Subaru is developing another software fix.

The posts on subaruoutback.org have a lot of good workarounds and other tips. For example, the use of high quality, oem cables for connecting your phone can solve many streaming issues. I found the best solution for a reliable source of music was to invest in large capacity USB stick, copy my music library to it (either AAC or MP3), and permanently install it in one of the center console ports. With the proper menu settings, it has played reliably.

I personally don't think bugs in the infotainment system would be enough to trigger lemon law remedies, but to each his own.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:37 am

Look at your state lemon laws. Some states have very protective laws and others are so business oriented that they tell the consumer "tough luck". In my state, 3 times for the same issue without being resolved and the manufacturer has to buy back the car.
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chevca
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by chevca » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:53 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:31 pm
I understand you are spending a lot of money on a new car and this is frustrating. But, please do not use car, lemon, and radio in the same sentence if you want to be taken seriously.
This ^^^

Infotainment hiccups and lemon law.... :oops:

onourway
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by onourway » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:13 am

chevca wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:53 am
Katietsu wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:31 pm
I understand you are spending a lot of money on a new car and this is frustrating. But, please do not use car, lemon, and radio in the same sentence if you want to be taken seriously.
This ^^^

Infotainment hiccups and lemon law.... :oops:
Non-functional is not a hiccup.

So to be clear, you would be just fine with a brand new vehicle without a functional radio and just accept it as the way things are? If not, how many attempts/days in the shop would you draw the line?

chevca
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by chevca » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:30 am

I wouldn't be fine with it, but it's hardly lemon status. The car runs, correct, and it's not a safety hazard...

It's a lease, so maybe look into what options are available that way... turn it in, get a different one, or something. It's some sort of warranty or lease issue though, not a lemon.

onourway
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by onourway » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:38 am

Many vehicles are bought back outside of the lemon laws. I think the manufacturers try to avoid official lemon status. If you buy a stereo for home and it malfunctions, you are allowed to return it. Since cars don't generally have that option, the parts attached to them need to be covered in other ways. From my time on numerous car forums, that clearly include buybacks for issues that don't affect the vehicle's ability to drive down the road.

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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by Nate79 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:31 pm

I do not know this specific issue but Subaru is not alone in infotainment issues and working with various carriers/phone models/etc. However, as I understand it the manufacturer does not guarantee that your specific phone model will work with nor cause issues to the infotainment system. All features do not have to work in all instances and with all phones. If there is software issues between your model and Subaru's system that doesn't make it a lemon. And they do not need to tell you this upfront. So the question is the problem with your phone model, the way you are using the phone to connect (i.e. BT vs wired), or is it an actual issue with Subaru's system?

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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by htdrag11 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:09 pm

tcassette wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:27 am
The 2018 Outback infotainment issues are frustrating. I bought my Outback last September and have documented my issues on subaruoutback.org along with many others. I have not tried to use Android Auto or Apple Carplay, so I don't know if my unit has those problems. However, from what I have read, other makes and models besides the Outback have problems with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Be sure to have your dealer apply the latest software update (unfortunately, it cannot be updated from your home network). The update may or may not resolve issues, which is frustrating in itself because different owners have had different problems with the same model unit! Supposedly, Subaru is developing another software fix.

The posts on subaruoutback.org have a lot of good workarounds and other tips. For example, the use of high quality, oem cables for connecting your phone can solve many streaming issues. I found the best solution for a reliable source of music was to invest in large capacity USB stick, copy my music library to it (either AAC or MP3), and permanently install it in one of the center console ports. With the proper menu settings, it has played reliably.

I personally don't think bugs in the infotainment system would be enough to trigger lemon law remedies, but to each his own.
I use Volutz, not the Nexus one. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077PTXLWK/?c ... _lig_dp_it

There are at least 6 or 7 threads in the Outback forum on their infotainment unit and Android Auto issues.

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htdrag11
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by htdrag11 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:14 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:31 pm
I do not know this specific issue but Subaru is not alone in infotainment issues and working with various carriers/phone models/etc. However, as I understand it the manufacturer does not guarantee that your specific phone model will work with nor cause issues to the infotainment system. All features do not have to work in all instances and with all phones. If there is software issues between your model and Subaru's system that doesn't make it a lemon. And they do not need to tell you this upfront. So the question is the problem with your phone model, the way you are using the phone to connect (i.e. BT vs wired), or is it an actual issue with Subaru's system?
I do not envy their testing scenarios. Mine is a Nexus 6P running 8.1.0 with a March 5th 2018 patch and there are many Android variants out there, such as Samsung, Motorola, etc. In the service area, I actually filled out a one page technical issues, stating the phone, the system, apps using when problem occurred, BT, USB-C, etc.

goldensam
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by goldensam » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:23 am

I bought a 2018 Outback in September and have had nothing but problems with the head unit. I have already had it back to the dealership three times for issues where the head unit freezes on either a black screen, white screen, or the starry screen, and I am unable to use the back up camera, GPS, or adjust the volume on the radio. The radio issue sounds minor, except how many times have you needed to turn down the radio when you need to concentrate on traffic, or directions, rain, etc.? I consider the freezing to be a safety issue. In addition, the speed limit will show 105mph, which I know is just mistakenly showing in kph, but the fact that it switches back and forth is concerning. The clock will randomly display the wrong time, and then will switch back to the correct time. I've taken pictures of a few instances of issues I have had. Yesterday after I took it to the local dealership and they told me there was nothing they can do, I contacted the dealership where I bought it. They agreed something is clearly wrong and advised me to start a claim with SOA and they will make it right. I sent an email to SOA last night detailing several of the issues I have had, including pictures, and told them I would like to give them the opportunity to make this right before I pursue a claim under my state's lemon laws and ask them to buy it back or replace it. At this point, I want them to just buy it back. In addition to the issues themselves, the time I am spending at the dealer is unacceptable and unsustainable. I debated buying this car for 3 years before pulling the trigger and I am beyond disappointed in all of this.

researcher
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by researcher » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:56 am

htdrag11 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 am
I certainly could drive the car, but not for longer than 30 minutes in total silence.
Please tell me you are not being serious?

Sounds like you may be an overstimulated snowflake if you can only drive for 30 minutes without the distraction of an infotainment system.

zedblade
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by zedblade » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:59 pm

htdrag11 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:56 pm
For NJ, here is what it says:

Is it a serious defect?

Audio issue is probably not. At best they would need to replace the head unit if the amp replacement did not resolve the problem. It's going to be a nuisance and a pain. Can't imagine driving in the 21st century without any kind of news or music.
Well -- the radio / infotainment system is also used for the backup camera. This is an *extremely* important safety system. The law even says your car must have one. If your backup camera doesn't work because of the radio then that should constitute a serious defect.

blevine
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by blevine » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:50 pm

Have owned 4 Subarus, 2 of which had manu defects.
Subaru simply can't fix such things. If they dealer does not have instructions how to fix a common issue, even ones well documented online,
they have no place to go. Subaru in Japan simply will not figure it out and provide a fix to the dealers.

I did get very polite replies from SOA headquarters, but no action.
Just kept telling me to bring the car to the dealer and the dealers indicates they have no way to fix the issue.
Often they just did the equivalent of control-alt-delete for a windows problem, to get rid of you until the next event.

Keep trying but don't expect much. Hope I am wrong for your sake.

PS not sure this is just Subaru. Years ago I took a Ford to many dealers until one finally figured out the issue,
and told me it was under a Ford secret warranty, no cost for repair, but many hours of going to dealers first.
Amazing these manufacturers stick their head in the sand and leave the dealers to face us angry customers.

MGrippo
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Re: What is a lemon? 2018 Outback Infotainment issues

Post by MGrippo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:50 pm

My In-laws 2018 Outback infotainment system is just dead (no backup camera, GPS, or radio) and per dealer needs to be replaced, Ok no problem,, but they are on back order for ?? Nobody knows.
I honestly think this is a lemon law issue and if it goes longer than 20 days I am going to start the process with NYS. Car just hit 10K. Initially, they got no loaner offer but after a couple calls to corporate and Dealership owner, I got money towards a rental. The dealer was nice and I understand his dilemma because if he had the part he would fix the car.
I, of course, was the one who pushed them to buy a Subaru.
Ugh!!

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